Definition of wind someone up in English:

wind someone up

phrasal verb

  • 1British informal Tease or irritate someone.

    ‘she's only winding me up’
    • ‘The players were shouting at us and trying to wind us up about the result.’
    • ‘Asked if he believed teams would try to wind him up to provoke a response, he admitted: ‘Yes, probably, but I'm an experienced player now and I want to prove that.’’
    • ‘She was winding me up, teasing me, and I knew it but the pain was still too fresh and the anger wasn't far from the surface and it took everything I had to keep quiet.’
    • ‘In itself this can be a little irritating if you're trying to wind someone up.’
    • ‘They wound me up about the result, we had a few drinks and we shared some laughs.’
    • ‘I admit I respect his body of work but every now and then I'll send him an e-mail just to wind him up.’
    • ‘He teased me and wound me up, without mercy, all day, for my grumpiness.’
    • ‘Derek winds me up that I have a wee boy who is English because he was born in Carlisle but I get him back because his wee girl was born in Edinburgh.’
    • ‘She was trying to wind me up and I just snapped.’
    • ‘Then again, his fresh-faced good looks and confident agreeability might only wind them up more.’
    tease, make fun of, chaff
    annoy, anger, irritate, exasperate, get someone's back up, put someone's back up, nettle, pique, get on someone's nerves, ruffle someone's feathers
    View synonyms
  • 2Make tense or angry.

    ‘he was clearly wound up and frantic about his daughter’
    • ‘I don't eat because the noise other people make with the munching and the slurping and rattling bags winds me up, so I think it would be hypocritical if I ate, too.’
    • ‘I suppose it's fitting that I rant about religion on Easter Sunday, but this wound me up, and then Steve tipped me over the edge.’
    • ‘In a nutshell, if someone comes up to you and winds you up, you don't have to become annoyed, and reply in kind.’
    • ‘The suggestion that he is some arty posh boy winds him up.’
    • ‘There is nothing that will wind me up more than hearing my children cry, at this age in particular.’
    • ‘His lack of insight winds him up and leads him to write angry and bitter rants like this - it's pretty sad really.’
    • ‘It really sticks in my craw, winds me up, annoys me that he has the views on homosexuality that he has.’
    • ‘I was feeling extremely tense and uncomfortable and the whole thing was winding me up more and more and more.’
    • ‘This happens every six months or so, and really winds me up.’
    • ‘But it winds me up because everything we have seen today does not have to be like that.’